2011 has been a landmark year for smartphones and technology as a whole. LTE has gone mainstream and 720p screens have taken over the high end. Ice Cream Sandwich has consumers salivating, and Apple held off on the release of the iPhone 5. Nokia and Microsoft partnered to produce Windows Phone handsets, and RIM saw its market share fall even lower. Google is set to purchase Motorola, and hopes to fare better than AT&T did with its failed acquisition of T-Mobile. At the onset of 2011, few, if any of these events could be predicted.Windows Phone Mango update

In an industry that evolves so quickly, it’s difficult to divine what will happen next. Nevertheless, I thought I might offer my thoughts on what the new year might bring us. Without further ado, I present my 15 predictions for 2012.

1. Windows Phone will gain steam, gathering enough momentum through a large marketing blitz and the Nokia partnership. Consumers will realize that there are more than two choices, and Windows Phone will hit 7% market share.

2. Amazon will release a 10-inch tablet to compete with the iPad. It will be called the Inferno, Conflagration or Wildfire.

3. Samsung takes advantage of Open Source webOS and puts it in washing machines.

4. Research in Motion will be acquired, sold off in pieces, or shrivel up and die. But not before chewing through the head of the coffin with their bare teeth and uttering “[it’s] just not fair . . . “.

5. Nintendo will license the its first game for iOS. It will not be Mario.

6. Apple will sell more iPad 3’s in the first month than the number of Ice Cream Sandwich tablets sold theMike Lazaridis entire year.

7. T-Mobile will be acquired, sold off in pieces, or shrivel up and die. But not before attempting to seduce Verizon Wireless, with a $10 billion dollar fall-through penalty buried deep in the 738-page agreement.

8. Apple will not release multiple versions of the iPad, not a 7-inch nor a separate “HD” version.

9. The iPad 3 will feature a quad-core processor and have a high resolution display.

10. Total smartphone market share will hit 40%. Hipsters become the most passive-aggressive defenders of flip-phones as a younger generation grows up that has “probably never heard of them”.

11. Amazon will release a phone. It will be called the Kindlette, Spark or Flame.

12. Verizon will release 7 Droid-branded devices in the span of 4 weeks. At least half will feature a machine gun or chainsaw in the advertisement.iPhone 5 Promo Featured

13. The number of Android activations will plateau in May, while iOS will see a bump in numbers due to a refreshed iPhone and iPod Touch in the fall.

14. The first 1080p smartphone display will be teased to the public by November. Windows Phone will still only support WVGA.

15. The iPhone 5 will have LTE. Only AT&T will brand it as LTE+, and announce it as the “World’s First 5G Phone”.

What do you think? What are YOUR predictions for 2012?